Hana Yori Dango -Koi Seyo Onago- begins with a bit of exposition, on the off chance that players of the game aren't familiar with the Hana Yori Dango (aka Boys Over Flowers) manga, anime, movies or tv drama series. Eitoku Academy is a very exclusive elevator school (one that goes from grade school to college) filled with children of the rich and famous. It is ruled by a group of four boys from the best families known as the Flower 4 (F4). If anyone tries to cross one of these four boys, they receive a red tag and are ostracized.
The game begins with the player explaining that she is one of the commoners at Eitoku – students from everyday families who manage to receive scholarships to Eitoku due to good grades. Commoners at Eitoku stick together, so you've made friends with Tsukushi Makino. (She is the star of Hana Yori Dango – only here she's a sidekick.)
On your very first day playing the game, you make an unavoidable, fatal mistake. You accidentally knock a vase onto Tsukasa Domyouji, leader of the F4. The other three F4 boys, Akira Mimasaka, Sojiro Nishikada and Rui Hanazawa, see the accident (Nishikado even laughs), but can't do anything to save you. You have a free period where you can go and talk, but its best to talk to Tsukushi then. The F4 members will give you the cold shoulder (especially Domyouji). The day then ends, and you return home to contemplate what will happen to you.
Sure enough, when you open your locker the next morning you see a dreaded red tag. The F4 has singled you out for schoolwide harassment. The mean girl clique lead by Yuriko Asai singles you out to torment you, and you run to Tsukushi for help. She is outraged that Domyouji would give you a tag for an accident, and drags you along to go confront him.
The next scene is nearly identical what happened in the original manga and anime – Tsukushi kicks Tsukasa in the face. You and Tsukushi then run to the roof. Problem solved! The F4 now will deem you worthy to talk to and socialize with.
After this point, you'll basically start going through a pattern for days. On school days you'll wake up, go to class and then talk to one of the F4 or Tsukushi at school. After school, you'll be able to go shopping for clothes or recipes, work at a part-time job, talk to one of the characters, practice cooking at home or enjoy tea at home.
You'll also notice that game events will follow those found in the manga, though scaled back. Your character never has rotten food and garbage tossed on her, she isn't dragged behind a moving car, she isn't drugged and she isn't chased by mobs – all things that happen to Tsukusshi Makino in the original Hana Yori Dango/Boys over Flowers manga and anime.
Next time: The amazing Shizuka Todo and the infuriating Sakurako Sanjo.
Images courtesy of Konami.